January 15, 2010

Fisher undergrad wins case competition in The Netherlands

In some ways, Fisher undergraduate Michael Bowen thought he and his teammate Michael Zhang were the underdogs at a case competition at Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management. As the American students competing in The Netherlands, they were going up against 34 teams, a majority of them Dutch, and some MBA students.

But once Bowen began to rely on the experiences and knowledge he gained at Fisher and as an international exchange student, he executed his presentation with the confidence of a seasoned business leader. He and Zhang won the university’s first BiD Network Student Challenge competition and were awarded internships in sustainability with either KPMG or ABN AMRO, a Dutch financial institution.

Bowen, a Wolfe Scholar and a student in Operations Management, Natural Resources Management and International Business, spent fall quarter studying emerging economies through the Fisher International Student Exchange Program.  The Rotterdam School of Management has been ranked a top 30 business school internationally by the Financial Times.

“This was truly the most fun, exciting and eye opening experience of my life,” Bowen said. “As a business student interested in global issues such as sustainable development, international trade and cultural influence, my time studying emerging economies at the Erasmus University Rotterdam School of Management was phenomenal.”

The competition was the culmination of his studies. He and Zhang were assigned the case of an entrepreneur attempting to install solar energy systems to rural communities in Cameroon that are not connected to an electrical grid. Highlights of the competition and portions of Bowen’s presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

“I am proud to have had the opportunity to travel, study, and compete while representing Fisher College of Business and The Ohio State University,” Bowen said.